Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 25

25. Spies Visit Monkey Army

[Rāvaṇa sends Śuka and Śarana, his ministers, to judge the strength of the monkey army. They were caught by Vibhīṣaṇa. Rāma allows them to see the monkey army and releases them. They go and advise Rāvaṇa to seek peace with Rāma.]

When Rāma the son of Daśaratha crossed the sea. Rāvaṇa told his ministers Śuka and Śarana as follows. 25.1

The monkey army has entirely crossed the impassable sea and the construction of bridge over the sea by Rāma is incomparable. 25.2

"I am not able to believe that a bridge could be constructed across the ocean and I definitely need to analyse the strength of the monkey army." 25.3

"Become not recognizable to others, enter the army of monkeys and count the real numbers of their army, their strength, as to which monkeys are important among them, which ministers of Rāma and Sugrīva have come together, which monkeys are leading in front, which monkeys are valorous, how that bridge was constructed across the ocean full of water, how the encamping is done for those great monkeys; the determination, strength and the striking senses of Rāma and of the heroic Lakṣmaṇa." 25.4- 25.7

"Please also find out who is the commander -in-chief of those powerful monkeys and after knowing that you should come back speedily." 25.8

After the Rākṣasas Sukha and Śarana were ordered this way, they assumed the form of monkeys and entered the army of monkeys. 25.9

After that Śuka and Śarana were not able to count the numbers of the army of monkeys and their hair stood erect due to wonder. 25.10

That army was stationed on the tops of mountains, round about the waterfalls, in the caves, on the sea-shores, in the woodlands and in the gardens. It was either in the process of crossing the ocean, or was intending to cross it in its entirety. It had either encamped or was still encamping, making a terrible noise. The two Rākṣasas saw that very strong and imperturbable sea of army. 25.11-25.12

The greatly lustrous Vibhīṣaṇa could find out them through their disguise and he caught hold of Śuka and Śarana and told Rāma. 25.13

"Oh Rāma who wins over other enemy cities, These are Śuka and Śarana who are ministers of the king of Rākṣasas and they have come here from Lanka as spies." 25.14

They both saw Rāma and were trembling and having lost the hope of being alive, greatly scared, with folded hands in salutation told Rāma. 25.15

"Oh gentle son of Raghu clan, we both came here because we were sent by Rāvaṇa to know everything about your entire army." 25.16

Rāma the son of Daśaratha, who is interested in welfare of all beings, after hearing their words, told them with a smile. 25.17

"If you have seen the entire army and seen all of us well and accomplished the task with which you were entrusted, you are free to go, when you want." 25.18

"If you have not seen any particular aspect, you can see them now and Vibhīṣaṇa will again show it to you in its entirety." 25.19

"Having been caught by us, there is no need for you to fear for the messengers who are caught without weapons should not be killed." 25.20

"Oh Vibhīṣaṇa, always be ready to shoot an arrow on our enemies, but let these Rākṣasa spies who have come in disguise be set free." 25.21

"Oh Rākṣasas, when you back to your city tell my words as I told you to Rāvaṇa, the brother of Kubera and the king of Rākṣasas." 25.22

"I desire that you show us the strength which you exhibited while abducting Sītā now along with your army and friends to us as well as our army." 25.23

"Tomorrow morning you will see my arrows destroying, the city of Lanka, along with forts and arches as well as the army of Rākṣasas." 25.24

"Oh Rāvaṇa, tomorrow at day break, I will release my dreadful anger on you, Just like Indra, the king of devas throws the Vajra." 25.25

When Rāma ordered like this to the Rākṣasas called Śuka and Śarana, They said, "Victory to you" and admired Rāma who loved Dharma, and then went back to Lanka and spoke to the king of Rākṣasas. 25.26-25.27

"Ok king of Rākṣasa, Vibhīṣaṇa caught us with the intention of killing us and the very lustrous Rāma seeing it who is the soul of Dharma set us free. 25.28

"Where the four eminent persons who are equal to the protector of the worlds, the valiant ones skilled in the use of weapons and of proven prowess namely Rāma the son of Dasaratha, the famous Lakṣmaṇa, the great and resplendent Vibhīṣaṇa and Sugrīva whose valour is equal to Indra the Lord of devas, are stationed at the same place, they can uproot the city of Lanka with its ramparts and arches and transplant it elsewhere, even if all the monkeys do not do anything." 25.29-25.31

"Such is the personality of Rāma that with his weapons, he alone will destroy the city of Lanka, even if the other three people do not do anything." 25.32

"That army protected by Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa and Sugrīva is unconquerable, even if devas and asuras join together." 25.33

"The army of the forest living monkeys are cheerful are interested in fighting the war. This is sufficient. Make peace with them and offer the daughter of king of Mithilā back to the son of Dasaratha. 25.34

This is the end of Twenty Fifth Sarga of Yuddha Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.